Over the last few months we’ve become fascinated by the Platform as a Service (PaaS) market because after an initial phase where it was dominated by platform-specific and language-specific offerings, a set of Universal PaaS are emerging, many of which are based around the Open Source Cloud Foundry from VMware. In addition to PaaS, there is a class of vendors who provide external services to PaaS through “marketplaces” that the vendor sets up. We refer to these generically as Application Services as a Service (ASaaS). The stakes are potentially huge – the PaaS takes over from the Operating System as the dominant factor in the purchasing decision for server-side technology. We’re not saying it definitely will happen, but it might.
Articles Tagged with PAAS
At this point in the evolution of PaaS, we are starting to see an enormous diversity of innovation around CloudFoundry, as multiple vendors come to market with differentiated PaaS offerings. Uhuru Software, based in Seattle, is entering its second Beta phase with the Uhuru PaaS, with a major focus on .NET support.
As mentioned in a number of posts, there is a clear trend away from Platform-specific PaaS (where you write your application to the platform) and Language-Specific PaaS (which provide support to one or possibly a couple of languages) to Universal PaaS, which is capable of supporting any language and any platform. There’s a little bit of a gray area, but we would include ActiveState Stackato, AppFog, dotCloud, GigaSpaces Cloudify, Red Hat OpenShift, Salesforce Heroku, Uhuru Software AppCloud and VMware CloudFoundry in this category. These vendors differentiate themselves by providing a broad range of Application Services or Application Lifecycle Services.
Bernd Harzog recently wrote about Microsoft’s Three Pronged Windows Azure Strategy – particularly with reference to the Service Provider offering. I’ve now had a certain amount of time to reflect on the announcement and try and work out what is going on and it doesn’t seem to constitute a wholehearted strategy to put resellers on a level playing field with Microsoft.
We suggest that to ensure CloudFoundry’s dominance, VMware should merge the dominant Open Source IaaS and PaaS initiatives into a single Foundation.
The PaaS market had a major false start in the period 2009 to 2012. The first PaaS vendors came to market with one of two premises
- “we’ve got a really great platform you can use it if you want to”. Good examples are Force.com (A PaaS derived from an IaaS – salesforce.com), Google App Engine and the original version of Azure
- “it’s a great place to run applications in a particular language” – good examples are Heroku (ruby) and PhpFog (PhP)
Since 2011 a second-generation of PaaS infrastructure has emerged which is exemplified by VMware’s CloudFoundry and Red Hat’s OpenShift. The biggest change between first and second generation PaaS is in the mindset. Instead of the first “P” in Platform as a service referring to “a Platform” it now refers to “any Platform”. In other words the job of the PaaS is to support any application in any language and deliver any set of services that any application might reasonably require. Whilst the first-generation PaaS was generally monolithic, the second-generation PaaS is usually capable of being implemented on a broad range of IaaS and/or virtual infrastructure, and the key factor is openness and diversity. Thus CloudFoundry can be implemented on OpenStack.
Organizations practicing agile development face many decisions when moving to the cloud. None is bigger than choosing whether to use IaaS or PaaS solutions for developing and deploying their applications. While each organization’s requirements are unique, there are 10 key criteria that can greatly influence an organization’s cloud strategy.